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Mariya Agapova beats the clock for Round 1 TKO at Invicta FC 37

Marilia Santos kicks things off with a seriously heavy right hand but Mariya Agapova is already timing her movements well and countering Santos’ efforts. Santos presses the action early with deliberate and direct power shots. Agapova is incredibly light on her feet as she bounces in and outside picking her shots well. When Agapova commits and gets inside Santos unleashes furious combinations, and despite her effective usage of the distance Agapova displays a willingness to trade in the pocket.

Agapova has a great awareness of Santos’ timing and counters her walking combos with her kicks. Agapova works the inside calf kick to the lead leg and continually catches Santos walking into body kicks near the liver. As Santos dials back her tenacity and settles into a safer and smarter strategy, Agapova lands a solid left hand and walks down Santos.

Santos initiates the desperation clinch, but Agapova remains busy striking with elbows the body. Santos tries to work the double under hooks on the fence but eventually just drops to her back and pulls Agapova into guard. Agapova scores heavy elbows and hammer fists and Santos locks her legs and flirts with the arm bar but looses it quickly.

Agapova continues to score heavy strikes from guard to the head and body. A sequence of nasty right elbows to the face forces Santos to turn her hips and turtle on her side. Agapova senses the blood in the water and presses the finish to barely beat the clock for a first round TKO and advance to 8-1.

The turning point of the match was when Santos decided to pull Agapova down into guard and concede the top position. Santos was never able to recover from the mistake, and although she was close to being saved by the bell, she wasn’t defending herself intelligently and forced the stoppage. Agapova now enjoys back to back first round finishes to begin her Invicta FC career. Despite not earning a UFC contract in her Contender Series loss, it is surely only a matter of time before Mariya Agapova makes it to the big show.

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